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Cordial Glossary

Below you'll find a glossary to help you understand general Cordial terms as well as terms related to deliverability.

General terms

Account key: The account key is a unique identifier for each Cordial account. It's referenced when using embedded Javascript Listeners on your website. The account key can be found on the account settings page.

AOV: Stands for Average Order Value. This is calculated by dividing the total revenue by the total number of purchases.

API: APIs (application programming interface) send data from one endpoint to another. You can learn about Cordial's APIs here.

API key: An API key is used to authenticate access when making API calls to the Cordial system. API keys are created on the API keys page.

Audience: A dynamic segment of contacts built using audience rules. Audience population can automatically change over time depending on rules used to build the audience. You can track your audiences using Audience Trends.

Audience Builder: The Audience Builder is used to create dynamic segments of contacts for sending messages, searching contacts, and filtering analytics reports.

Audience Trend: Audience Trend analytics allow you to view the population of an audience over time.

Automated messages: Messages that are triggered by an API call, an event, or a recurring schedule. Automated messages can be classified as transactional or promotional. Learn more about automated messages.

Batch messages: Batch messages are used for one-time promotional sends. They can be sent immediately or scheduled for a future date. Learn more about batch messages.

Cartridge: A mechanism for packaging and deploying program code and data. Cordial uses cartridges in our integrations with Shopify, Salesforce, and Magento.

Channel: Used to classify the types of messages a contact can receive. Cordial supports multiple channels. Example channels include email, mobile push, SMS, and API.

Click-to-open rate (CTOR): A percentage calculated by dividing the number of unique clicks by the number of unique opens.

Collection: How data is grouped and stored in the Cordial database.  Example collections include contacts, supplements, events, products, and orders

Contact: A record in the contact collection identified by its unique primary key. A contact record contains information about channel membership, subscribe status, attributes, list membership, and cart items.

Contact attributes: Contact attributes contain information specific to each contact and are stored in the contact data collection as strings, numbers, dates, geo fields (addresses), and arrays.

Contact identifiers (cID): A unique ID used to identify a contact in the Cordial database.

Contact profile: A contact profile includes all data associated with that contact. Learn more about contact profiles here.

Contact subscribe status: This tells you what channels a client is subscribed to and what type of messages you can send them.

Contact valid status: SMS contacts that continually fail over seven consecutive sends are marked as invalid. Cordial automatically suppresses addresses marked as invalid from any sent message. You can learn more about contact status here.

Data automations: A page in the Cordial UI that allows the user to create and view automated import and export of data. You can learn more about data automations here.

Data collections: Cordial stores and exposes several data collections in order to build audiences, trigger messages, personalize content, and create analytics reports. Learn more about available data in Cordial here.

Engagement score: A numeric score that represents whether a contact is engaged with your brand.

ESP: Stands for Email Service Provider. An entity that provides commercial options to send promotional and/or transactional emails.

Events: Behavioral data for each contact in the system. These include standard events associated with messages (sends, opens, clicks, etc.), custom events associated with website behavior (browse, add to cart), and external behavior captured by IoT devices (opened door, triggered alarm, etc).

Event data reports: Event data reports provide a log of all events (also called contact activities) in chronological order. Learn more about event data reports here.

Experiments: A method for testing multiple variants in subject lines or message content in batch or automated messages. Learn more about message experiments here.

External variables (extVars): Used to pass variables when sending messages triggered by an automationtemplates API call. Learn more about external variables.

Geo attribute: A type of contact attribute used to store address information.

HTML content includes: A way to store additional HTML in a content library to be rendered in a message using Smarty. HTML content is useful for rendering the same HTML in multiple messages (such as headers and footers), running advanced Smarty functions, or building complex body experiment variants outside of a message. Learn more about HTML content.

Identity+: Cordial's integrated identity graph product that recognizes contacts anonymously browsing your site, such as on a new browser or device, and connects all of their buying signals to your contact’s profile. Learn more about Identity Graph here.

Inbox placement: Inbox placement (often referred to as inbox placement rate (IPR)) is a deliverability metric used to determine what percentage of messages reach the intended contact. Cordial features an inbox placement test to provide that insight.

Include: HTML that is a reference to a reusable asset within HTML content, similar to a CSS import.

Integrations: Cordial offers several third-party integrations to extend the functionality of the platform.

Invalid: One of three subscribe statuses for a contact's email address. Learn more about when a contact's email address is flagged as invalid.

IP address: An aspect of a sender’s profile that can be shared with other senders or dedicated to one sender or a select pool of senders within a company.

ISP: Stands for Internet Service Provider.

JavaScript Listeners: Cordial's embedded JavaScript Listeners allow to you to collect and store useful contact data from website visitors. Learn more about JavaScript Listeners here.

Job: A server-side action that runs when a request is made. Each job is given a unique job ID. Example job requests include message sends, data imports and data exports. Jobs status is shown on the jobs page.

JSON: JavaScript Object Notation is a file format used to transmit data objects and arrays between a server and a browser. All data in Cordial is stored in JSON format.

Link tracking: Used for tracking link performance in a message. Link tracking for all links is enabled by default when creating a message and can be disabled under Goals and Tracking. Tracking on individual links can be disabled using Smarty link functions. By default, link tracking is active on links for 30 days.

Linked audiences: Linked audiences are saved audiences created and referenced (linked) into any messagebatch, automations, and/or orchestrations.

Lists: Used to organize contacts into a static segment. Learn more about lists here.

Lightbox: Lightbox is a JavaScript library that highlights images and videos in messages by dimming the rest of the screen. Learn how to use Lightbox conditions in Cordial.

Message classification: A classification of a message given by the user when a message is created. The two types of message classification are promotional and transactional. Promotional messages are only sent to contacts with a subscribe status of "subscribed." Transactional messages are sent to contacts regardless of subscribe status.

Message contact ID (mcID): A unique ID created by the system that is a concatenation of several system values. mcID is used to describe which account sent a message, which message was sent, which contact the message was sent to, and the message type. Learn more about mcID and other system variables.

Message ID (msID): A unique ID created by the system for each message. Learn more about msID and other system variables.

Message key: A unique ID created by the user for automated messages. Used to reference the automated message in the database when making API calls.

Message reports: Message reports allow you to view detailed data about messages sent from Cordial. 

Message tags: Provided by a user when creating or editing a message. Used to reference messages when building audiences and analytics reports.

Message transport: A means by which a message is sent. Message transports are created by a Client Services Manager during account set up. An account may include separate transports for sending promotional and transactional message classifications.

Multi-armed bandit: A type of experiment strategy used for testing multiple variants in automated messages. This algorithmic strategy gives each variant an equal opportunity to perform and detects which variant is performing best. Once the algorithm learns which variant performs best, it begins to favor that variant over the others. Learn more about experiments in automated messages.

Non-cID supplements: Supplemental data that is not attached to a contact. You can learn more about supplemental data here.

Order data: Data related to a purchase event and stored in the orders collection

Payload: The actual data received from API calls or any other collection method.

Podium Orchestrations: Podium Orchestrations provide an easy way to create, visualize, and monitor cross-channel triggered campaigns for each customer touchpoint.

Prerequisite data: Data needed in order to complete steps in any given action.

Primary ID: A unique ID given to each contact in a Cordial account. The default primary ID is the contact ID.

Product data: Data related to a product catalog and stored in the products collection.

Promotional classification: A classification provided by the user when creating a new message. Promotional classified messages are used for promotional content and will only be sent to contacts with a subscribe status of "subscribed."

Push Planet: A tool to create and maintain email subscription centers and landing pages that you can use alongside Cordial.

Ramping: The process of targeting contacts to build deliverability reputation on an IP address or collection of IP addresses. It's an exponential growth curve that takes place when onboarding new accounts into Cordial.

REST channel: The REST channel utilizes Cordial's message automation functionality to make RESTful API calls to a specified endpoint.

Revenue: A key performance indicator that's calculated when purchase data is passed with a message contact ID (mcID) to the orders collection.

Schema: A specified structure that serves as a blueprint of how data should be passed to the database. Most data passed to Cordial is schema-less, meaning that the user defines the keys and associated values to be passed to the database. Some data, such as order and product data, must follow a schema to be accepted in the Cordial database.

Sculpt: A customized drag-and-drop editor that allows you to easily build personalized message content without HTML coding knowledge. Learn more about Sculpt here.

Sending domain: The domain an email is sent from. This may or may not be the same as the primary domain. For example: example.com (primary domain) vs. email.example.com (sending domain or sub-domain). The difference between the primary domain and a sending domain only needs to be one character.

Secondary ID: Most often associated with a channel (email, SMS, etc.), a secondary ID can be any attribute on a contact's profile that's used to update information within the profile.

Smarty: A php-based template language. Cordial's template syntax uses Smarty for rendering dynamic and personalized content in messages. Learn more about using Smarty and Cordial's template syntax.

Subscribe status: A status given to each contact (per channel) that determines what types of messages can be sent to them. A contact can have a subscribe status of subscribed, unsubscribed, or none.

Supplement data: Data stored in the supplements collection that can contain a custom data schema. This data can be used for rendering content in a message and building audiences.

Swagger: An open-source software framework used to test RESTful APIs. Cordial created a custom implementation of Swagger to document its own APIs and help users access and test API calls to their accounts. View Cordial's Swagger API implementation at https://api.cordial.io/docs/.

Throttling: A Cordial feature used to limit the sending of batch messages according to a specified amount and timeframe. Learn more about scheduling and throttling batch messages.

Transactional classification: A classification you can choose when creating new messages. Transactional messages are used for transactional content (order confirmation, browse, password reset, etc.) and will be sent to contacts with a subscribe status of subscribed, unsubscribed, or none.

Vanity domain: Vanity domains are typically used to hide lengthy or off-brand URLs. Brands use vanity domains to ensure consistent branding anywhere their URL appears.

Web forms: Web forms is a JavaScript application where you can create lightboxes and other widgets to display on your website. These widgets collect information from website visitors. This customer data can be seamlessly transferred to Cordial with our JavaScript Listeners.

 

Deliverability terms

"A" record: An address record points a domain or subdomain to an IP address. When pasted into a browser, the sending domain (email.example.com) will route to the parent domain (example.com).

Aligned return-path transport: A transport that authenticates DKIM and SPF using the sending domain as opposed to the ESP's own DKIM and SPF record. DMARC can only be set up if an aligned return-path transport is used to send.

Data validation/verification: The process of vetting emails to determine their riskiness, validity, and potential deliverability. Learn more about data validation/verification.

Deliverability: The process of mail getting sent, crossing the mail transit agent, passing through local and admin level filters, and delivered into a contact's inbox.

DKIM: A domain-level authentication where each domain has a unique public key record. This is an effort to limit spoofing and phishing. Learn more about DKIM records here.

DMARC: An extra level of authentication to prevent spoofing and phishing for sending domains. Recognized by Gmail and others. Learn more about DMARC records here.

DNS: Stands for Domain Name Server, which represents the backend authentication that makes up a domain and/or sending domain.

Engagement: The level of interaction, positive or negative, a customer has with sent mail. Engagement metrics include opens, clicks, deleting the mail, unsubscribing, and spam complaining.

ESP: Stands for Email Service Provider, which is an entity that provides commercial options to send promotional and/or transactional emails.

ISP: Stands for Internet Service Provider.

Hard bounce: When a message is sent and the response from the receiving server indicates that the address is invalid (examples: "user unknown", "no such user here", "invalid recipient", etc.), it's classified as a hard bounce. Learn more about message bounces.

IP address: An aspect of a sender’s profile that can be shared with other senders or dedicated to specifically one sender or a select pool of senders within a company.

Invalid: One of three subscribe statuses for a contact's email address. Learn more about when a contact's email address is flagged as invalid.

List hygiene: Additional step provided in hygiene to correct email addresses. Learn more about data validation/verification.

List unsubscribe: A mechanism managed by the MTA (mailbox transport agent) and the email mailbox provider that will change a contact's subscribe status in Cordial to "unsubscribed" and add an email address to the MTA's suppression list. Learn more about list unsubscribe.

Mailbox providers: Entities such as Yahoo, Gmail, and AOL that provide email inboxes for public use, either paid or free.

Message classification: A classification of a message given by the user when a message is created. The two types of message classification are promotional and transactional. Promotional messages are only sent to contacts with a subscribe status of "subscribed." Transactional messages are sent to contacts regardless of subscribe status.

Message transport: A means by which a message is sent. Message transports are created by a Client Services Manager during account set up. An account may include separate transports for sending promotional and transactional messages.

Migration: A term for moving from one ESP to another (external migration), or from one set of IPs and/or sending domains to another (internal.com).

MTA: Stands for Mail Transport Agent. This entity takes mail from the email service provider and delivers it to the receiving domain. For example, an email sent from Cordial (ESP) is injected into the MTA and delivered to the receiving domain (Gmail, Yahoo, etc).

MX record: Stands for Mail Exchange Record. Represents where mail is being routed and sent through.

NS Record: Stands for Name Server Record and represents which server the DNS is delegated to.

Opt-In

  • Double opt-in: Double opt-in (aka confirmed opt-in) is considered the industry gold standard. Subscribers receive a confirmation email after sign up, which requires further action on their part prior to being added to a list.
  • Generic opt-in: Subscribers indicate interests on a partner or co-registration site; however, they might not necessarily know who might be sending them email. Since the signup might be unmemorable and mail non-relevant, recipients often think they're receiving unsolicited email.
  • Implied opt-in: Assumes the recipient wants to receive email since they did not take any action upon signup to opt-out (i.e. uncheck pre-selected box, etc.). Generally not considered an industry best practice since this is the weakest method of permission.
  • Notified opt-in: Notified opt-in is very similar to single opt-in with the addition of one extra step. In the notified opt-in scenario, a confirmation or welcome email is sent to the subscriber, allowing them the opportunity to opt-out. If there was a malicious or errant sign up, or if the requester simply changed their mind, they would be able to take action in order to avoid future mailings.
  • Single opt-in: Subscribers indicate interest in receiving mail and are added to a specific list. This permission may be given via internet or offline sign up. No other steps are required either from the requestor or the sender prior to mailings.

Permission levels: Refers to the type of consent a user has given, allowing the entity to send emails and collect information on the user.

Rate-limiting: A bottleneck type of block by the receiving domain to slow down the amount of mail being delivered at one time.

RBL: Stands for Real-Time Blackhole List. An undesirable listing managed by spam trap operators that's caused by consistent spam trap hits. Being listed on an RBL can affect deliverability and is indicative of poor data hygiene by sending to questionable records.

Remediation: An effort made by reaching out to receiving entities and filtering solutions to resolve issues with rate-limiting, blocking, RBL removal, or other undesirable outcomes that negatively impact a sender’s deliverability.

Reputation: The external view of your brand as an email sender. This view speaks to engagement, hard bounces, spam complaints, frequency of mailing, spam traps, and content. Learn more about reputation here.

Sending domain: The domain email is sent from, which may or may not be the same as the primary domain. For example, example.com (primary domain) vs. email.example.com (sending domain or sub-domain). The difference between the primary domain and a sending domain only needs to be one character.

Soft bounce: When a message is sent and the response from the receiving server indicates that the address is valid but unable to receive messages. Examples include mailbox full, temporary fail, and spam block. Learn more about message bounces.

SPF: Stands for Sender Policy Framework. A way for someone to say that an IP is allowed to send on behalf of a domain. Gives permission for sending email from an IP not owned by the sending domain. First line of defense for spoofing.

Spam trap: A spam trap is an email address not owned by an actual person, but monitored by inbox providers, anti-spam organizations, and blacklist administrators to identify malicious senders. Although spam traps are meant to catch the bad guys, legitimate senders can also be victims due to poor data/list hygiene and questionable acquisition practices. Learn more about spam traps.

  • Pristine spam trap: These addresses were never used by a person. They're created solely to bait and catch malicious senders. These types of spam traps can be hidden on websites and only visible to scrapers and harvester robots.
  • Recycled spam trap: These are email address that once belonged to real people but were converted to a spam trap after getting abandoned. The amount of time it takes for an address to be considered abandoned depends on the inbox provider and can range from 90 days to over one year. Recycled spam traps can be a single email address or multiple addresses tied to a specific domain.
  • Typo spam trap: These traps are very similar to common domains but might vary by as little as one character (i.e. gmai.com instead of gmail.com). They may tell a network operator that a sender is attempting to send to real users, and they may not be the strongest indicator of pure spam. A number of receiving entities choose not to include this type of trap in their filtering decisions, but they're still used extensively. Typo domain traps may also be classified as pristine spam traps by some network operators.

Subscribe status: A status given to each contact (per channel) that determines what type of message can be sent to them. A contact can have a subscribe status of either subscribed, unsubscribed, or none.

Suppression list: A collection of contacts managed by an MTA (mailbox transport agent). A contact can be placed on a suppression list if they click on the unsubscribe mechanism in an email or report the message as SPAM. Learn more about suppression lists here.

Throttling: A Cordial feature used to limit the sending of batch messages according to a specified amount and timeframe. Learn more about scheduling and throttling batch messages here.

Whitelist: A status managed by receiving entities, ISPs, or filtering solutions that allow either IPs or sending domains to have favorable standing with the managing entity. This type of remediation allows a sender with a mid-to-high-level reputation to mail to users covered by the whitelisting status.

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